The chances that the dismissal of Richard Alpert will be contested as an abridgment of academic freedom seem remote. Several Faculty members yesterday expressed regret that President Pusey's statement on Alpert did not explain how the facts of the case were "determined," but no one saw a possibility of an investigation by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) unless those facts are in doubt.
Clark Byse, professor of Law and general counsel for the AAUP, told the CRIMSON yesterday that "speaking only as a member of the Faculty" he could foresee no issue of academic freedom. He added, however, that on the basis of public record he was "somewhat concerned that proper procedures may not have been observed" in the University's action.
The AAUP has established a set of recommended steps for universities to take when contemplating the dismissal of an officer. One of these urges that the person charged with an offense be given a formal hearing at which he may defend himself.
Fritz Machlup, president of the AAUP and a member of the faculty of Princeton University, explained last night that most American universities have incorporated these recommendations into their by-laws.
Harvard however, has no provisions in its statutes for such hearings (Byse said he has always wanted to have this omission corrected), and the vagueness of the President's statement on the dismissal has therefore aroused speculation as to whether Alpert had a chance to explain his actions.
No Formal Hearing
A University official said yesterday afternoon that Alpert had admitted he broke the University regulation on giving drugs to undergraduates, had been given a chance to answer the charges, and had not asked for a formal hearing.
Machlup pointed out that the AAUP never takes action unless the aggrieved individual makes a complaint. If Alpert does not protest his dismissal, therefore, the AAUP will not enter the case. Alpert has not indicated that he will complain to the Association.
In spite of this several of Alpert's students are organizing a formal protest of the Corporation's action. Lisa C. Bieberman '63 announced a meeting in the Leverett House Old Library at 8 p.m. tonight "for all students who want to sign a letter condemning the firing of Richard Alpert."
Miss Bieberman said she and others had also planned a "protest walk" but that this had been "blocked by the Deans on the grounds that it was exam period."